10

Jan

How to Run Large-Scale Educational Workshops in Deep Learning & Data Science

This post is authored by Gopi Kumar, Principal Program Manager, and Paul Shealy, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft.

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, the need to rapidly train a large number of data scientists and AI developers has never been more urgent. Microsoft is always looking for efficient ways to educate employees and customers on AI and make them more productive when using these new capabilities. Aside from numerous technical conferences that we host and sponsor, we also offer the AI School and a range of tools such as the Data Science Virtual Machine, Visual Studio Tools for AI, Azure Machine Learning, Microsoft ML Server, and Batch AI to help developers and data scientists become more productive around building their intelligent AI-infused apps.

Pulling together deep learning workshops for a large number of students, however, can be a time consuming, error prone, and costly exercise. Furthermore, technical issues with the environment setup and compatibility problems during the workshops impede learning and cause student dissatisfaction. These workshops typically have participants bring their laptops and have them download and install new software. However, with the wide range of laptop platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux), numerous configurations, and version conflicts with existing software, workshops

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10

Jan

Azure Marketplace new offers in December 2017
Azure Marketplace new offers in December 2017

We continue to expand the Azure Marketplace ecosystem. In December 2017, seven new offers successfully met the onboarding criteria and went live. See details of the new offers below:

Heimdall Data SQL Optimization Platform: Heimdall Data is an all-in-one SQL platform for the application developer and DBA.

Luminate Security Connector: Luminate Security revolutionizes the way enterprises provide secure access to corporate applications and services hosted in Microsoft Azure.

Renku Language Detection Engine: Renku Language Detection Engine performs language detection on natural language text. When given input text, Renku applies statistical methods to determine probabilities of the text belonging to over 100 languages.

BeeGFS Free – Community Support: High performance distributed, parallel file system from Thinkparq.

Elastic Stack on Kubernetes: Bring your own license enabled. This application, from Visual Studio China, is free to use, without any software fees and is fully functional without limitations or the need to purchase a license.

Quartus® Pro and Intel® FPGA SDK For OpenCL™: The revolutionary Intel Quartus Prime design software includes everything you need to design for Intel FPGAs, SoCs, and CPLDs from design entry and synthesis

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10

Jan

Manage and Auto-scale your IoT solution with a predictable IoT Cloud

As companies continue to fully roll out their IoT projects, management of the various components of the solution becomes a critical part of their operations. The flexibility of Azure IoT Hub to enable customers to start small, paying only for the amount of IoT Hub capacity needed at any point along the device deployment curve, helps drive predictability in the cost of an IoT solution.

However, the potentially irregular rate of device and message growth in an IoT solution does add a unique challenge for operations. When the number of messages ingested from devices in a given day exceeds the limit of the chosen IoT Hub capacity, the IoT Hub will begin to reject messages until either the IoT Hub is scaled-up, or the time rolls over into the next day (UTC time). Wouldn’t it be nice to have IoT Hub just automatically scale up to a higher capacity when a certain threshold of messages is met, before this limit is reached?

While at this point, IoT Hub does not have this capability built into the service, we have published a sample solution for monitoring and automatically scaling your IoT Hub based on reaching a specific threshold of messages. The sample,

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09

Jan

Azure Security Center and Microsoft Web Application Firewall Integration

Web applications are increasingly becoming targets of attacks such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and application DDoS. While OWASP provides guidance on writing applications that can make them more resistant to such attacks, it requires rigorous maintenance and patching at multiple layers of application topology. Microsoft Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Azure Security Center (ASC) can help secure web applications against such vulnerabilities.

Microsoft WAF is a feature of Azure Application Gateway (layer 7 load balancer) that protects web applications against common web exploits using OWASP core rule sets. Azure Security Center scans Azure resources for vulnerabilities and recommends mitigation steps for those issues. One such vulnerability is the presence of web applications that are not protected by WAF. Currently, Azure Security Center recommends a WAF deployment for public facing IPs that have an associated network security group with open inbound web ports (80 and 443). Azure Security Center offers provisioning of application gateway WAF to an existing Azure resource as well as adding a new resource to an existing web application firewall. By integrating with WAF, Azure Security Center can analyze its logs and surface important security alerts.

In some cases, the security admin may not have resource permissions

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08

Jan

1/11/2018 Webinar: Integrating R Script and R Script Visuals with Power BI by Ginger Grant

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/1-11-2018-webinar-integrating-r-script-and-r-script-visual-with-power-bi-by-ginger-grant/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/1-11-2018-webinar-integrating-r-script-and-r-script-visual-with-power-bi-by-ginger-grant/           Power BI is a great tool for providing in-depth analysis of your data. In this webinar we are going to add R to Power BI to provide not only some R visualizations which READ MORE

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08

Jan

Power BI Desktop January Feature Summary
Power BI Desktop January Feature Summary

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-january-2018-feature-summary/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-january-2018-feature-summary/           Happy new year to everyone! We are kicking off the new year with an update to Power BI Desktop focused on incremental improvements to popular features you are already using, including automatic date READ MORE

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08

Jan

Last week in Azure: Securing Azure infrastructure from CPU vulnerability, and more

As we ushered in 2018, our industry was busy responding to an industry-wide, hardware-based security vulnerability related to CPU data cache timing. We updated the Azure infrastructure to address this vulnerability at the hypervisor level. You can get more details about the steps taken to address this vulnerability here: Securing Azure customers from CPU vulnerability.

As announced last month (Azure portal update for classic portal users), today is the official sunset date for the Azure classic portal, manage.windowsazure.com. The Azure portal (portal.azure.com), which launched in December 2015, is now the place to find all of our services and your resources.

Data

Azure Data Lake tools integrates with VSCode Data Lake Explorer and Azure Account – Learn about the Azure Data Lake Tools extension in VS Code, which provides a lightweight, cross-platform, authoring experience for U-SQL scripts.

Asynchronous refresh with the REST API for Azure Analysis Services – Introduces the REST API for Azure Analysis Services, which enables you to perform asynchronous data-refresh operations instead of using long-running HTTP connections from client applications.

Build richer apps with your time series data – Check out the new Time Series Insights (TSI) developer tools, which include an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template, API

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08

Jan

#Azure #SQLDW, the cost benefits of an on-demand data warehousing

Prices illustrated below are based on East US 2 as December 18th, 2017. For price changes updates, visit Azure Analysis Services, SQL Database, and SQL Data Warehouse pricing pages.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is Microsoft’s SQL analytics platform, the backbone of your Enterprise Data Warehouse. The service is designed to allow customers to elastically and independently scale, compute and store. It acts as a hub to your data marts and cubes for an optimized and tailored performance of your EDW. Azure SQL DW offers guaranteed 99.9 percent high availability, PB scale, compliance, advanced security, and tight integration to upstream and downstream services so you can build a data warehouse that fits your needs. Azure SQL DW is the only data warehouse service enabling enterprises to gain insights from data everywhere with a global availability in more than 30 regions.

This is the last blog post in our series detailing the benefits of Hub and Spoke data warehouse architecture on Azure. On-premises, a Hub and Spoke architecture was hard and expensive to maintain. In the cloud, the cost of such architecture can be much lower as you can dynamically adjust compute capacity to what you need, when you

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05

Jan

From Insights to Action with the Power Apps custom visual
From Insights to Action with the Power Apps custom visual

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/from-insights-to-action-with-the-power-apps-custom-visual/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/from-insights-to-action-with-the-power-apps-custom-visual/           Power BI makes it possible for anyone to explore data and find insights to make better business decisions. But often, the insight itself isn’t the end result – instead, an action needs to READ MORE

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05

Jan

Maximize your VM’s Performance with Accelerated Networking – now generally available for both Windows and Linux

We are happy to announce that Accelerated Networking (AN) is generally available (GA) and widely available for Windows and the latest distributions of Linux providing up to 30Gbps in networking throughput, free of charge! 

AN provides consistent ultra-low network latency via Azure’s in-house programmable hardware and technologies such as SR-IOV. By moving much of Azure’s software-defined networking stack off the CPUs and into FPGA-based SmartNICs, compute cycles are reclaimed by end user applications, putting less load on the VM, decreasing jitter and inconsistency in latency.

With the GA of AN, region limitations have been removed, making the feature widely available around the world. Supported VM series include D/DSv2, D/DSv3, E/ESv3, F/FS, FSv2, and Ms/Mms.

The deployment experience for AN has also been improved since public preview. Many of the latest Linux images available in the Azure Marketplace, including Ubuntu 16.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4, CentOS 7.4 (distributed by Rogue Wave Software), and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3, work out of the box with no further setup steps needed. Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012R2 also work out of the box.

All the information needed to deploy a VM with AN can be found here, Windows AN VM

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